Rarely do I read an article about a new car and walk away from it with a feeling of hope and inspiration towards the world. This exact thing happened when I read this article: http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/12/10119683-new-rock-solid-ride-for-wheelchair-bound-drivers In short, the Vehicle Production Group has created a vehicle that is made specifically for handicapped drivers. There are currently no other vehicles like this on the market, as of right now you must modify a vehicle to include a wheelchair ramp. This can weaken the structure of existing vehicles which can be detrimental in the event of an accident. This is the first vehicle to be built specifically for wheelchair drivers. The car has the look of an extended Honda Element, safety and accessibility, the option to run on natural gas, and is made in America…what more could you ask for? I commend the Vehicle Production Group for taking on a challenge that automakers have ignored for so many years. While a lot of us might not think about wheelchair accessibility when shopping for a new car, take a moment to imagine if that was your top priority. Now imagine that there are no automakers that make the vehicle you are looking for. This is a situation that many of your fellow Americans have faced over the years. Take a moment to read the article listed above, it is an interesting read and will hopefully inspire you just as it did me.
Every year we look forward to the Detroit Auto Show to see the new, extravagant, and interesting vehicles the automakers have come up with this year. Each year Autoweek magazine awards the Best in Show award to one lucky vehicle. This year the award went to a surprising winner, the Ford Fusion. This vehicle was chosen because of its attainability, functionality, and design.
Do you think the 2013 Ford Fusion was worthy of the award? Check it out here: www.motortrend.com/photo_gallery/sedans/1201_2013_ford_fusion_photo_gallery/photo_01.html#photo
Do you use the CD player in your car? According to a recent survey of potential Sonic and Spark customers, consumers would rather have a lower price tag than a CD player in their vehicle. Do you find this statement to be true as well? With the development of smartphones in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of consumers that strictly use their phones for entertainment. As technology progresses it will continue to become cheaper and cheaper to enable the linking of phones and vehicles. Are you sad to see the CD player go? Check out this article for more information: http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/10/10096404-automakers-shedding-cd-players
We recently blogged about the hazards of winter driving and the unfortunate possibility of becoming stranded in the snow. Since that blog post I have stumbled across an app that could possibly mean the difference between life and death in these situations. Being marketed under the name Winter Survival Kit, the app serves to provide information about how motorists can prepare for a winter emergency as well as act as a beacon if the motorist becomes stuck in the snow. When a driver is stranded in a snowstorm they can simply press the “I’m Stranded” button, the app will call 911 and notify them of the motorist’s location. It will also keep track of how long the gas should last in the car and provide safety tips. Winter Survival Kit is available for iPhone and Android smartphones. Whether you drive for personal or commercial reasons, this app is definitely something that I would suggest looking into. You can find more information about the app at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/winter-survival-kit/id482127435?mt=8
Did you know that the Cadillac Escalade is the most stolen vehicle in the United States? This is most likely because of the car’s value and status associated with the Escalade symbol. 10 out of every 1,000 Escalades on the road today according to data recently released from the Highway Loss Data Institute. Disheartened by this news? Don’t worry if you are planning to buy an Escalade in 2012, Cadillac is substantially increasing the security measures this year. These increases include a shock sensor to alarm if the vehicle’s glass is broken, a more robust steering column, and a new wheel lock system.
To see a more detailed list about these improvements check out the following site: http://www.freep.com/article/20111230/BUSINESS01/112300326/1205/business01/Escalade-security-features-beefed-up
According to a recent report, New Year’s Day is the most likely day for a car to be stolen. This may seem a little surprising since many of us will be sleeping in on New Year’s Day but holidays are actually quite common work days for car thieves. The second most likely day for a car to be stolen is Memorial Day. So what can you do to prevent your vehicle from falling victim to these thieves and ruining your holiday? Some of these may sound obvious but you would be surprised how effect such simple precautions can be.
- Park your car where people can see it. – A thief is less likely to crack open your car when it is in a populated and well-lit area. This may seem obvious but when you pull into that parking lot for your party this weekend, will you choose to park your nice new car in the secluded dark corner so no one will scratch it or up front by the busy walkway?
- Lock your car! -Do not leave your car unlocked. This is an open invitation for anyone that walks by.
- Take your keys with you. –Don’t leave your keys in your car or try to hide them outside of the car. This is an open invitation for a thief to drive your car away. If you are leaving your keys in the car or in a hiding spot outside of the car in an effort not to lose them consider putting your keys in a pocket, purse, or even invest in a key chain that will clip to your belt.
- Do not leave valuables or gifts inside the vehicle. –A laptop or an unopened Christmas gift resting the backseat of a car may be too much for a thief to resist. Before heading out to the bar or to your big New Year’s Eve party make sure you clear out the extra holiday items from your car.
- Consider carpooling or taking a taxi to the bar or party. –We all know that drinking and driving is not a good idea. If you plan on heavily drinking at your New Year’s Eve celebration, do not try to drive home. By taking a taxi or carpooling you avoid the temptation of driving and your car will remain safe at home away from a lurking thief.
Remembering these simple concepts can start your new year off on a much better note!
Winter has already shown up or will quickly be appearing across much of the country very soon. We would like to take a moment to remind everyone about a few items to keep in your vehicle that could mean the difference between life and death.
- Chances are you probably already have this first one in your car: a cell phone. The ability to call for help if you are stranded in the snow can essentially guarantee safety. If you do not use a cell phone daily, consider purchasing a pay-as-you-go cell phone that is just for emergency use.
- A flashlight – it can be very comforting to be able to see your surroundings and can help you navigate in the dark.
- Blankets –in snowy climates the weather can change drastically in just a matter of hours. Having emergency blankets in your vehicle can keep you warm in case you were to ever get stranded.
- A small shovel and sand – these items can help you gain traction and get moving again if you get stuck in a slippery spot. Sometimes all it takes is a little traction to get you back on the road.
- An ice scraper- while this is in most cars that reside in a colder climate during the winter, remember to make sure it is in your car in advance of the first snow.
- Dry food – if you are stuck in your vehicle for an extended period of time having food in your car can keep you alive. Pack things like granola bars, jerky, or raisins.
- Flairs- these can help get the attention of rescue crews or passersby.
- A hat – we lose between 30%-40% of our body heat through our heads. Pack a couple ski hats and stay warm while you wait for help.
- First aid kit- this is pretty self explanatory, if you are in a crash you may have sustained injuries. A first aid kit can provide aid to minor injuries.
- Children’s books or games – if you frequently travel with small children having a small book or game in the car can provide enough entertainment to keep them calm until help arrives.
While no one believes they will be the one stranded in an upcoming snow, you can never be too prepared. Remember that weather and road conditions can change rapidly and possibly render you unable to travel. You can become stranded in the snow on a highway just as easily as you can become stranded on a country road. Check out these examples of how easy it is to get trapped in the snow: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-12-22/news/30548908_1_candy-bars-remote-area-forest-service, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40471093/ns/weather/t/hundreds-slowly-freed-ny-snow-gridlock/#.TvyyiVaOdkY, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40655137/ns/weather/t/stranded-motorists-get-airlift-out-snow/#.Tvyzf1aOdkY.
If you are a Saab owner the events of the last week may have left you a little confused about your current warranty since Saab has announced that they will not be able to honor them. However there is good news for some customers, GM has announced that it will cover the Saab’s warranties for the time period that Saab was owned by GM. This means only the vehicles with a model year of 2009 and older will be covered. GM will also cover a small amount of 2010 models that were sold in Canada. If you have a late model Saab you may unfortunately go without coverage. If you have any questions about your specific coverage contact your local dealership.
With the holiday season in full swing a lot of us are often strapped for cash this time of year. If your need for an auto shipment occurs around this time of the year as well, you may be looking for the cheapest possible transport. This is a bad idea for a couple reasons. The first and foremost reason is that auto transporters make their livings based on the payment of the vehicles they ship. If your auto shipment is paying the lowest among other similar vehicles the auto shippers will likely choose those vehicles before yours. If time is a very large factor for your auto shipment you will want to include a higher price in your auto shipping plan. Your willingness to pay a little bit more on your auto transport will go a long way in terms of the speed that a truck will be willing to pick up your shipment. Keep in mind that you do not have to be the highest paying vehicle but merely somewhere in the middle. This is true when trying to find an auto transporter, choose a price that is in the middle…a low price could mean your order will not be dispatched for a while and a price that is too high may be a waste of your money.
It may be a very sad day if you are a Ford Ranger enthusiast. The final Ford Ranger rolled out of the production plant today, ending its 29 year run of service as a smaller alternative to larger trucks. With such a long history, some might wonder why Ford has decided to end this vehicle now. The answer is simple, vehicle sales have been down for the past years due to the company focusing their attention on the bigger trucks in their line. The Ranger was not updated in fuel economy, design, or price. Larger trucks became more appealing to the vast majority of customers since they offered more style, better fuel economy, and a price that was not much more than the smaller Ranger. The internet is filled with Ford Ranger enthusiast websites and forums. It is safe to say that just because Ford will no longer be producing new models, the Ranger will not be completely disappearing anytime soon.